Dr. Mieczyslaw (Mietek) Boduszynski Chevron Energy Technology Company (Retired) is the recipient of the 2017 ENFL Distinguished Research Award in Petroleum Chemistry. The Award will be will be presented at the 2017 San Francisco ACS meeting. A symposium in Mietek's honor will be held on Monday afternoon, April 4, 2017 and the award will be presented at the ENFL Dinner on Tuesday April 5.
Mietek is a legend in the field of crude oil characterization and molecular transformations in petroleum refining. He spent his entire career at Chevron in the Analytical Division and, although retired, continues to contribute as a consultant. During his illustrious career, Mietek pioneered a number of techniques, models and discoveries that has had a significant impact on petroleum refining. First and foremost, he developed the Atmospheric Pressure Equivalent Boiling Point (AEBP), a method widely used today to produce discrete distillation cuts that allow the critical study of lower molecular weight as well as previously “non-distillable” fractions. This was followed by the development of high temperature simulated distillation by retention as opposed to elution. This method has become the industry standard for crude evaluation and spawned the development of the corresponding ASTM standards.
From this work, Mietek predicted the continuum of petroleum crude oil chemical composition, and explained how a narrow boiling point cut could contain species spanning a wide molecular mass range. He also predicted that heavy crude oil components, including asphaltenes, have molecular weight less than ~2000 Da. These predictions were widely disputed for years until the advanced tools and techniques were developed nearly twenty years later. I was fortunate to be present at the presentation of the work from the Marshall-Rodgers lab at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at FSU that proved Mietek predictions were correct.
Additional contributions include findings on the origin and formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in lube hydrocrackers (RLOP) and the seconnd-stage Isomax process as well as the development of advanced analytical techniques to understand petroleum composition including field ionization mass spectrometry and high temperature gas chromatography coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HTGC-ICP-MS).
Mietek’s body of work has provided a fundamental understanding of distillation, the primary technology for crude oil processing and has enabled refineries to improve net margins by utilizing deep-cut distillation to produce incremental yields of high-value cracker feeds.